A new study warns the risk of heart disease and stroke is significantly high for people who do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. Researchers warn this lack of nutrition could be the cause of millions of deaths annually.
Close to one in seven cardiovascular deaths may be due to low intake of fruits and one in 12 cardiovascular deaths may be due to low intake of vegetables, according to the research. The study findings were recently presented at the American Society for Nutrition in Baltimore (US).
Consuming fruits and vegetables daily will provide your body with a lot of nutrition it needs to function well.Fibre, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and phenolics are some of the nutrients you can get from these foods. Managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improving the diversity of good bacteria in the digestive tract are just some of the health benefits you can expect by eating these types of food.
According to the team, the optimal intake of these foods is as follows:
- Fruits: 300 grams per day, which is about two apples.
- Vegetable: 400 grams per day, which is almost three cups of carrots.
For the study, the team examined data on deaths relating to cardiovascular diseases in close to 110 countries. They compared the data to an estimated average intake of these foods in each country.
The results showed1.3 million deaths from stroke were due to low consumption of fruits. The results also found close to 520,000 deaths from coronary heart disease was the result oflow consumption of vegetables. "Our findings indicate the need for population-based efforts to increase fruit and vegetable consumption throughout the world," lead author Victoria Miller, a postdoctoral researcher at Tufts University, told a news portal.
Common mental health issues like depression and anxiety could also increase the risk of heart disease. Previous research has also found that taking take antibiotics for more than two months can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in women. "Antibiotic use is the most critical factor in altering the balance of microorganisms in the gut. Previous studies have shown a link between alterations in the microbiotic environment of the gut and inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels, stroke, and heart disease, "Professor Lu Qi, whose findings were published in the Journal of European Heart, told a news portal.
Apart from diet, one study found time in a sauna can significantly reduce heart disease risk. "There are several possible reasons why sauna use may decrease the risk of death due to CVD. Our research team has shown in previous studies that high sauna use is associated with lower blood pressure. Additionally, sauna use is known to trigger an increase in heart rate equal to that seen in low to moderate intensity physical exercise," study author Professor Jari Laukkanen, told a news portal.